One constant in life is that you and I will age. The question is: Will we age successfully or unsuccessfully?

The classic signs of successful ageing are a feel-good body, good levels of strength and fitness, tons of energy, good posture, optimism, good relationships, not having lifestyle related degenerative disease (and not being at risk of them) along with healthy lifestyle pursuits.

Hallmark signs of unsuccessful ageing include low energy, a feel-bad, painful, hurting body, low motivation, and disease states like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and so on.

Successful ageing occurs only in a healthy body. It's not about avoiding wrinkles, but about retaining a strong, youthful body (regardless of age), full of vigor, and a vibrant alert mind.

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Ageing is inevitable, but deterioration is not - the pace at which we're pulled along in life IS influenced by our lifestyles.

You really have two ages - chronological and physiological. Chronological age refers to how old you are, in years. Physiological age refers to how well your body functions.

Those with good strength and fitness and few risk factors for chronic disease are physiologically younger than those who are the same age but less healthy. It is possible to turn back time by being healthier than your chronological age would imply.

Scientists note three "levels" of ageing: successful, usual and diseased. "Successful ageing" results in a higher quality of life and requires active participation to achieve it. "Usual ageing" is the average - just hoping for the best but doing little to nothing to improve or change things. Finally, "diseased ageing" results in low quality of life for years (maybe decades) and more time spent in the "disability zone".

Average should be unacceptable, and diseased is no way to live or die. The better you age, the higher your quality of life, the more productive and happier you remain.

The younger you are right now, the more you can do to control how well you age. The older you are, the MORE you need to take active steps to control ageing.

What you do before age 50 has a huge impact on how well you age. Ageing is a lifelong process. The person you become at an old age is really a function of how you lived your earlier years.

You can influence ageing as much as you can influence disease prevention and most other factors associated with optimal health. The most important factor is taking action. The first step in this process is entirely in your hands - you decide to increase your strength, fitness and health, or, often through inaction, decide NOT to pursue it.

Because movement sends mighty messages about the status of our "will to live" and lack of movement is literally "killing" us...we must make "movement" a priority again. Unfortunately, being "busy" throughout the day running around doing errands does not quality.

Without a doubt, movement is the primary key to keeping us strong, healthy, disease-free and alive. Without it, our bodies suffer with weak muscles, weak bones, weak joints, a weak heart and a weak immune system.

The most important thing we need to get established into our life is a proper strength-training exercise program, to keep our muscles, bones and joints strong thereby strengthening our entire body and its systems. This type of exercise program is essential for optimal health as it stimulates the release of "growth and repair" hormones that are what we need to stay youthful and strong.

Next a nutrient-dense diet made up of REAL food (not processed) will support this type of program and high levels of health.

Note: Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, AND you need to be exercising effectively.

You are either in "regeneration" mode or "degeneration" mode. What messages are you sending your body?

It's never too late to make important lifestyle and dietary changes. And once that decision is made, you will happily discover that you have only just begun the exciting journey through the rest of your life.